Every online marketing professional has his or her own ideas about what trends will dominate in 2015. There are a few that are undeniable, such as the continued growth of mobile marketing and the increased use of different social media channels, but what does this all mean to marketers? It’s not just enough for businesses and brands to be up-to-date with what’s trending in the digital marketing world. Their relevance is determined by being ahead of the curve for what’s coming next.
#1: Content Repurposing
Content marketing had its shining moment in 2014 and will continue ruling the online world as the importance of relevant, fresh, well-written content is more important than ever. For 2015, we will see brands customize their content calendars to strategize repurposing it for different channels. Rather than solely maintaining a successful blog, marketers will use one piece of content and repurpose it to reach different audiences. One blog post will now become the basis for social media updates, short tutorials, videos, and downloadable tip sheets to increase the content’s overall value. The importance of good content will be present in every part of the marketing funnel.
#2: Audience Connection
Brands that know how to connect to their audiences will excel in 2015. There is value in creating campaigns that speak to the human spirit. Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” video ad used its creativity to deliver the brand’s message about sustainable food sources without having to heavily rely on a tag line or logo recognition. Additionally, the increase in donations to the ALS foundation soared in 2014 after its “Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign went viral, essentially reaching every person with a Facebook page. It’s not enough to simply have a good product or provide a good service anymore. People need to know why they should care, be involved, purchase, and pay attention.
#3: Social Relationships
Reaching out to social influencers will be on the project lists for marketers and PR professionals who want extra exposure for their clients. By reaching out to influencers online, brands can secure relevant content at little to no cost. Hashtags are becoming as relevant as researched keywords in the of-the-moment type of online marketing. Brands who don’t take advantage of the online conversation will be left behind. Analytics tools will continue to allow marketers to target their outreach to influencers who would be the best fit for their campaigns such as Followerwonk focused on Twitter optimization, Piqora for visual analytics on Pinterest and Instagram, or Ditto which enables marketers to identify where their brands appears in photos people share across multiple public social media.
#4: Community Crowdsourcing
Brands will turn to crowdsourcing to boost community engagement around their products. Audiences will have a chance to weigh in on decisions regarding product changes and become more involved with new product creation. This essentially gives the people what they want when they want it. Engagement on a broad scale will increase in businesses who want to expand their growth online. Brands will research their target audiences when creating campaigns to keep them coming back as long-time fans.
Digital marketing trends are always changing. When a new app is released, a new network is uncovered, or a new way to reach bigger audiences is discovered, marketers follow suit. It’s up to brands to constantly think of ways they can reach their target audience and secure a following that can withstand trends. It comes down to how much value brands can give consumers and what will keep them coming back for more.